email marketing for affiliate marketers

The global affiliate marketing industry is forecasted to reach $27.78 billion by 2027, and 35% of affiliates make over $20,000 monthly – (source).

On average, email drives an ROI of $40 for every dollar spent on brands in the US and $43 for EU brands.

This means that for every $1 you invest as an email marketer, you make $40 back.

Yeah, you read that right!

Affiliate marketing changed my life, and I won’t deny it. While I’ve also done email marketing to a tiny degree, the little I’ve done made me a few thousand dollars.

I know and follow a few marketers who make ridiculous money – EVERY DAY – promoting and recommending affiliate offers to their email list.

Following a simple email marketing process like this:

Email marketing guide - processes

This guide is based on what I’ve learned as an affiliate marketer and email marketer, as well as being on the list of marketers better than me in this game.

But first.

What is Affiliate Email Marketing?

Affiliate email marketing is a strategy that combines affiliate marketing with email marketing. It involves affiliates using email campaigns to promote products or services to their subscribers.

When your email subscribers click on your affiliate links and make a purchase, you earn commissions.

This marketing approach leverages email communication’s personal and direct nature to drive sales and generate revenue for the affiliate and the product owner.

Think of it this way…

Imagine you have a friend who knows you well and knows that you’re looking for something specific, like the perfect pair of running shoes.

Your friend also happens to be acquainted with a great local sports store.

So, they send you an email saying,

“Hey, I found these amazing running shoes that seem perfect for you – check them out!”

If you click the link in the email and buy the shoes, your friend gets a little thank-you fee from the sports store for making the introduction.

That’s essentially what affiliate email marketing is all about.

It’s a way for you (the affiliate) to introduce products or services to your email subscribers (friends) that might interest them.

When those introductions (with nurturing) lead to a sale, the affiliate gets a commission (a thank-you fee) from the business for helping to make the connection.

It’s a win-win for everyone – you get your running shoes, the store makes a sale, and your friend is rewarded for helping it all come together.

Why Does Doing Affiliate Marketing With Email Matter?

Email marketing for affiliate marketers is a strategic approach that can lead to substantial benefits.

It is one of the most effective methods for promoting affiliate products.

Here’s why incorporating email into your affiliate marketing strategy matters:

  • Direct Access to Your Audience: When you utilize email marketing, you have a direct line of communication with your subscribers. This means you can personalize your messages and build relationships that foster trust and increase the likelihood of conversions.

  • Independence from Platform Changes: Unlike social media platforms, where algorithm changes can greatly affect your reach and engagement, your email list is your asset. This eliminates dependency on external platforms and the unpredictability of algorithm updates.

  • High ROI: Email marketing generally offers an impressive return on investment. Building and maintaining your email list can yield higher revenue from affiliate promotions.

  • List Ownership: Unlike followers on social media, you own your email list. This contact list is a valuable business asset you can leverage for various marketing tactics.

With email marketing, you’re in full control. You can reach out to your subscribers whenever you want without worrying about external factors like Google’s SEO updates and other platforms’ algorithmic changes, giving you a more stable environment to grow your affiliate marketing business.

10 Steps on How To Build an Affiliate Email List For Affiliate Marketing

1. Determine Your Goals

Before embarking on an affiliate email marketing campaign, it’s imperative to define your objectives clearly.

While the ultimate goal is to increase commissions through your affiliate email marketing campaign, it’s crucial to establish clear objectives for attaining that goal.

This could involve various strategies, such as cultivating deeper relationships with your email subscribers to foster trust and loyalty.

Another goal could be to boost your brand awareness alongside promoting your offers.

Furthermore, you might aim to upsell your subscribers by promoting your products or other relevant offers that align with their interests and needs.

Whatever your approach, remember that clear and attainable goals are the foundations of a successful affiliate marketing strategy.

2. Choose an Affiliate-Friendly Email Autoresponder

When selecting an email autoresponder for your affiliate marketing efforts, opting for a service that doesn’t frown on affiliate links or ban you is crucial.

From my experience, GetResponse, with its comprehensive features tailored toward affiliate marketing, often stands out as a top choice.

Here are other key features I look for:

  • Compliance and Deliverability: I ensure the autoresponder complies with affiliate marketing regulations and maintains high email deliverability rates.
  • Integration with Affiliate Platforms: I prioritize platforms seamlessly integrating with popular affiliate marketing platforms to track my campaigns effectively.
  • Automation and Segmentation: I seek features that enable me to automate personalized emails for different audience segments, boosting engagement.
  • Analytics and Reporting: I select an autoresponder with detailed analytics to monitor key metrics like open rates and revenue from affiliate campaigns.
  • Customer Support: I prefer providers with reliable customer support across various channels, ensuring I can get help whenever needed.

To get the most out of your email marketing service, consider the features, support, and guidelines the service provides for affiliate marketing.

Many email autoresponders (hello Mailchimp!) have policies regarding affiliate marketing; thus, it’s wise to review their terms of service before committing to ensure a harmonious fit for your affiliate marketing activities.

Related: My favorite list of email services for affiliate marketing

3. Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience lies at the heart of successful affiliate email marketing.

It’s like speaking directly to a friend – knowing their likes and dislikes makes the conversation more meaningful. To truly grasp who you’re reaching, follow these steps:

Start with Demographics: Gather details like age, gender, location, and income to tailor your emails appropriately.

Analyze Online Behavior: Discover which websites your audience frequents and what products they prefer, shaping the affiliate products you promote accordingly.

Seek Direct Feedback: Use surveys, feedback forms, and social media interactions to ask your audience about their preferences and interests.

Finally, segment your audience by dividing your subscribers into smaller groups based on common characteristics. This will enable you to send personalized, resonating emails.

Segments may include new subscribers, engaged users, and dormant subscribers, each receiving tailored content.

4. Select the Right Affiliate Products

When diving into affiliate email marketing, your success hinges on the products you choose to promote.

Here’s a streamlined approach to ensure you align with the right items:

  • Identify Your Niche:

Firstly, identify a niche that suits your interests and expertise. Your audience relies on you to be their trusted advisor within this area.

  • Research Affiliate Programs:

Look for affiliate programs that offer a reputable selection of products within your chosen niche. Ensure these programs have a reliable track record for quality and customer service.

  • Evaluate Product Relevance:

Consider products that truly resonate with your audience’s needs and preferences. Relevance is key to conversions.

  • Assess Product Quality:

Quality breeds trust. You must feel confident in the product’s ability to deliver value.

  • Longevity and Demand:

Choose products that offer long-term appeal rather than fleeting trends. Your recommendations should remain relevant to ensure sustained earnings.

  • Commission Structure:

Favor affiliate programs that provide fair and potentially lucrative commission rates. Investigate their payment structure for transparency and reliability.

  • Affiliate Support:

Partner with programs that offer robust support for their affiliates. Proper support can differentiate between an easy sale and a missed opportunity.

Read my affiliate program posts:

5. Craft Compelling Email Copy & Create a Lead Magnet

Crafting compelling email copy is vital in engaging your audience and driving action. Your email copy should be concise and to the point and emphasize your affiliate product’s benefits.

Make sure to:

  • Personalize your emails. Address your subscribers by name and tailor content to their interests.
  • Use actionable language encouraging recipients to take the desired action, such as “Grab Your Free Guide Now!” or “Start Saving Today.”
  • Keep paragraphs short and use bullet points to make the email skimmable.
  • Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) so the subscriber knows exactly what to do next.

To enhance the effectiveness of your email marketing, create a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is an incentive you offer potential customers in exchange for their email addresses or other contact information. This could be an eBook, a free course, a discount code, or a valuable resource.

For example, below is an example of a lead magnet – email option – I activated on all of my ClickFunnels’ related posts:

email pop up opt-in

As you can see, this particular lead magnet addresses a relevant and compelling need and solves a problem.

6. Personalize Your Emails

Personalizing your emails is a pivotal aspect of successful affiliate marketing strategies.

Tailoring your message to your audience can significantly impact engagement rates—and, subsequently, your conversion rates.

Here’s how to add that personal touch to your email campaigns:

  • Segment Your Audience: Sort your email list into groups based on demographics, behaviors, or interactions with your content. This allows you to tailor your message more specifically.

CriteriaExample Segments
DemographicsAge, location, job title
Email EngagementOpen rates, click patterns
Past PurchasesProduct categories, frequency
  • Use Their Name: Incorporate the recipient’s name in the email to grab attention. Most email marketing platforms offer a personalization token feature allowing you to insert names into emails automatically.
  • Craft Compelling Content: Write content that resonates with your audience’s interests. Personalized emails build a sense of understanding and trust, showing that you value their needs and preferences.
  • Leverage Behavioral Triggers: Send emails triggered by actions your subscribers take. For example, someone who abandoned a cart could receive a follow-up email to encourage completion of the purchase.
  • Test and Analyze: Constantly test different personalization techniques. Use A/B testing to see what resonates best with various segments. Analyze the results and continue refining your approach for better performance.

Your goal is to make your subscribers feel like you are speaking directly to them. Personalization can turn a generic promotional email into a compelling message that captures interest and encourages action.

7. Use Catchy Subject Lines

Crafting a catchy email subject line is pivotal for the success of your affiliate marketing campaigns. Your subject line is the first impression you make on your subscribers, and it can determine whether your email is opened or ignored.

Here are key strategies for creating subject lines that grab attention:

  • Be Concise: Aim for subject lines with less than 60 characters to ensure they’re not cut off in mobile email clients, which typically display between 33-43 characters.
  • Incorporate Emojis Sparingly: Emojis can increase open rates by up to 45%, but they should be used sparingly to maintain professionalism and clarity.
  • Create Urgency: Use words like “urgent,” “alert,” or “limited time” to prompt immediate action, but do so without creating false urgency.
  • Offer Value: Communicate the benefit of opening the email, such as exclusive discounts or valuable information like “Discover the Secrets to Passive Income.”

Remember these tactics:

StrategyHow to ImplementExpected Outcome
ConcisenessLimit subject lines to 6-10 wordsHigher open rates
EmojisUse relevant emojis for emphasisIncreased engagement
UrgencyBe specific about time-sensitive offersMore immediate opens
Value PropositionHighlight what’s in it for themEnhanced subscriber interest

Always A/B test different subject lines to determine what resonates best with your audience. By optimizing your subject lines, you enhance the likelihood of your emails being opened, read, and acted upon.

8. Segmenting Your Audience for Targeted Campaigns

Effective email marketing involves delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.

To achieve this, segmenting your audience is essential.

Here’s how you can segment your audience for maximized engagement and conversions:

Demographic Segmentation: Split your audience based on demographic criteria such as age, gender, job title, and education level.

AgeTailor content according to life stage
GenderCustomize offers for male/female interests
Job TitleProvide relevant content for professional needs
EducationAdapt the complexity of content to the education level
  • Geographic Segmentation: Customize campaigns based on the subscriber’s location, adjusting for factors like language and regional events. Continents:
    • North America: Focus on sales like Black Friday.
    • Europe: Align with VAT changes or regional holidays.
  • Behavioral Segmentation: Segment by past interactions with your emails or website, such as purchase history or content engagement. Engagement Levels:
    • High: Reward with exclusive offers.
    • Low: Re-engage with tailored content.
  • Psychographic Segmentation: Understand your audience’s personality, lifestyle, and attitudes for highly personalized campaigns.

When you’ve defined your segments, test different approaches and continuously measure the performance. Use metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to adjust your strategy.

9. Test and Optimize For Higher Affiliate Conversions

To boost your affiliate conversions, it’s important to keep testing and improving your email campaigns. Try A/B testing, where you make small changes to see what works better, like tweaking the subject line or the layout of your emails.

I’d also monitor important numbers like open rates and click-through rates to gauge the success of your emails.

Then, personalize your emails by using your subscribers’ names and tailoring the content to their interests.

And don’t forget to make sure your emails look good on mobile devices!

Finally, make your call to action clear and compelling so people know what to do next.

10. Track Your Success

To gauge the performance of your email marketing campaigns effectively, you need to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) consistently.

This data will inform your strategy and help optimize your future affiliate marketing efforts.

Key Metrics to Monitor:

  • Open Rate: The percentage of recipients who opened your email. Aim for a rate that exceeds industry averages.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The frequency at which links within your emails are clicked. This directly relates to how compelling your content and offers are.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of click-throughs that result in the desired action, such as a purchase or sign-up, indicates the campaign’s ultimate success.
  • Bounce Rate: Emails that weren’t delivered. For clarity, split this into hard bounces (permanent issues) and soft bounces (temporary deliverability problems).

To track these metrics, use the analytical tools provided by your email marketing platform. Real-time tracking allows you to make fast adjustments to enhance performance.

My 8 Best Email Marketing Tips for Affiliates

Promote Links in Your Email Without Being Intrusive

Always lead with valuable content before introducing your affiliate links.

Your primary goal is to address your subscribers’ needs and interests, ensuring that any promotional content feels seamless and relevant rather than forced or sales.

Enhance Deliverability By Following The Latest Google and Yahoo Email Changes

Stay updated with the latest email requirements from providers like Google and Yahoo. Adhering to these changes increases the likelihood that your emails land in the inbox rather than the spam folder.

Segment Your Audience

Break down your list into distinct segments based on demographics, behaviors, or preferences. This enables you to tailor your emails, ensuring that your messages resonate more deeply with different groups of subscribers.

Focus on Personalization and Subscriber Engagement

Personalize your emails based on the subscriber’s actions and information. Utilize their name, past purchases, and browsing behaviors to craft messages that engage and convert.

Affiliate email personalization

Clean Your List Regularly to Maintain List Hygiene

Periodically remove inactive subscribers and incorrect email addresses. A clean list improves engagement rates, deliverability, and overall performance of your email campaigns.

Create Specific and Targeted Lead Magnets For Higher Conversions

Develop lead magnets (free content offered in exchange for an email address) that are highly specific to your audience’s interests. This attracts subscribers who are more likely to convert to the offers you promote.

Promote The Right Products/Offers That Aligns With Your Audience

Understand your audience’s needs and only promote products or offers that provide real value to them. Relevance is key to maintaining trust and maximizing conversions.

Use Affiliate Disclosures/Disclaimer

Transparently include affiliate disclosures in your emails. This honesty not only builds trust with your audience but also complies with legal requirements, safeguarding your business and reputation.

Affiliate email disclaimer

Email Marketing for Affiliate Marketers – Final Thoughts

Email Marketing is an essential tool in your affiliate marketing arsenal. It offers direct engagement with your audience and a platform for promoting products with a personalized touch.

Here’s a succinct wrap-up:

  • Choose Wisely: Your Email Service Provider (ESP) should cater to affiliate marketing needs, offering automation, segmentation, and analytics.
  • Understand Your Audience: Tailor your content to meet the interests of your subscribers. Use segmentation to target specific groups within your audience for better conversion rates.
  • Provide Value: Your emails should offer something compelling. Educational content, insider tips, or exclusive deals enhance your trustworthiness and encourage clicks.
  • Analyze and Adapt: Regular analysis of your campaign performance is crucial. Keep an eye on metrics like open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and conversions to refine your strategy.
  • Keep It Legal: Always adhere to regulations like the CAN-SPAM Act. Transparency about affiliate links maintains your credibility and avoids legal pitfalls.
  • Stay Patient: Building a profitable affiliate email marketing campaign takes time. Remember, consistency and persistence are key.

Remember that quality trumps quantity.

It’s better to send fewer emails that your subscribers look forward to than bombard them with messages that get ignored.

Your goal is to be the friendly expert who provides valuable content—not just another marketer in their inbox.

Keep learning, experimenting, and refining your approach. With the right strategy, you can leverage email marketing to forge strong relationships and drive your affiliate marketing success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do affiliate marketing with email?

Yes, you can utilize email marketing for affiliate promotions. This strategy involves sending targeted emails containing affiliate links to a subscriber list interested in your niche.

How do I start an email list for affiliate marketing?

To start an email list for affiliate marketing, first, choose a reliable email marketing platform. Then, create engaging content and opt-in incentives to encourage your target audience to subscribe. Ensure subscribers give consent to be emailed to maintain compliance with email regulations.

How can a beginner get started with affiliate email marketing?

A beginner in affiliate email marketing should learn the basics of email copywriting and list management. It’s also vital to understand the principles of selecting suitable affiliate programs and integrating their offers into your email content.

Can I put affiliate links in emails?

You are allowed to include affiliate links in your emails, providing they adhere to the terms and conditions of both the affiliate program and your email marketing service provider. Be transparent with your audience about using affiliate links.

What’s the best email marketing autoresponder for affiliates?

GetResponse is considered one of the best email marketing autoresponders for affiliate marketers due to its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features tailored to affiliate marketing needs, such as advanced segmentation, automated workflows, and detailed analytics.

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